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Guit With ItMost artists playing and staying true to traditional country styles get pigeonholed as retro acts in the 1990s. Junior Brown, on the other hand, is viewed as something fresh and vital. You'd like to think it's because of his appealing baritone drawl, deft songwriting touch, and fleet set of picking fingers, but you just know that it's the Hendrix flourishes and his guit-steel creation that make him relevant to the contemporary Nashville tastemakers. Either way, Brown's mix of Hawaiian-tinged ballads, honky-tonk weepers, steady shuffles, and boy-girl duets is as potent as country gets in the 1990s. This 1993 effort, his first for Curb, not only showcases his rather formidable guitar technique and wall-shaking voice, but also proves him to be a sneakily clever lyricist, whether being ironic, sarcastic, or honest. --Marc Greilsamer1. Doin' What Comes Easy to a Fool
2. Highway Patrol
3. So Close Yet So Far Away
4. Sugar Foot Rag
5. My Wife Thinks You're Dead
6. You Didn't Have to Go All Theway
7. Party Lights
8. Names and Addresses
9. Still Life With Rose
10. Holding Pattern
11. Guit-Steel Blues
12. The Gal from Oklahoma$19.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Alright Again!One of the most satisfying contemporary Brown [albums] of all for the discerning blues fan. Nothing but swinging, horn-abetted blues adorn this album, as Gate pays tribute to an influence and a protege by covering T-Bone Walker's Strollin' with Bones and Albert Collins's Frosty. Brown's jauntily revives Junior Parker's I Feel Alright Again and Percy Mayfield's Give Me Time to Explain, while his own numbers -- a funky Dollar Got the Blues, the luxurious blues Sometimes I Slip -- are truly brilliant.
- Bill Dahl (All Music)1. Frosty
2. Strollin' With Bones
3. Give Me Time To Explain
4. Baby Take It Easy
5. Sometimes I Slip
6. I Feel Alright Again
7. Alligator Boogaloo
8. Dollar Got The Blues
9. Honey In The Be-Bo
10. Gate Walks To Board$21.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
180-Gram Audiophile Vinyl
Limited Edition Of 750 Numbered Copies On Orange Colored Vinyl
Long out of print, Dubb Everlasting is a highly rated Dub album by noted sound engineer Errol Brown.
Duke Reid's nephew Errol Brown got his start as a junior sound engineer at his uncle's legendary Treasure Isle studio. There he made his first tentative steps in production and 1975's Dubb Everlasting was the result. Three years later followed by Dub Expression.
Key to this success was the crack outfit from the Channel One studio, the Revolutionaires. Featuring the eminent talents of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare to name but two, the band's expansive skill, taste and restraint is evident and contributes to the success of this album. What sets Brown's Dub albums apart from the herd, is that there seems to be a lot more happening on them. Sure there are the spacey, chill moments as well, but more instruments than the bass and drums are given a chance to shine more often. He's left a bit more in than most Dub practitioners, which keeps things interesting. Being a sound engineer at heart, he liked to keep things moving along, bringing instruments up in the mix and sparingly using drop-out, which makes it all more effective.
Overall Dubb Everlasting is a neat quite obscure but thoroughly intriguing and satisfying 70s Dub Reggae album.1. Babylon Dubbing
2. Escape Affair
3. Biblical Dub
4. Easy Locks
5. Living Strings
6. Eva A Dub
7. Marigunna Affair
8. Dub Due
9. Winning Dub
10. 37 Orange Street
11. Spinning Dub$36.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
You're Tuff EnoughVinyl reissue of the 1968 album by blues legend Junior Wells that collects his recordings from the Blue Rock label that found Wells experimenting with a funky, James Brown-inspired sound - includes the title track which was a Top 40 hit on the R&B singles chart!1. You're Tuff Enough
2. It's All Soul
3. Gonna Cramp Your Style
4. Where Did I Go Wrong
5. That'll Hold Me
6. Sweet Darling, Think It Over
7. Up In Heah
8. You're The One
9. You Out To Quit That
10. Messing With The Kid
11. The Hippies Are Trying
12. Junior's Groove
$25.99Vinyl LP Reissue - Sealed Buy Now
Pleading The Blues (Pure Pleasure)
The year was 1959. The occasion was a 'Battle of the Blues' at the Blue Flame Club in Chicago. A young harmonica player Junior Wells - who got his start as Little Walter Jacobs' replacement in Muddy Waters' band back in '52 - probably didn't imagine he would come in second. After all, he had already put down both Otis Rush and Magic Sam. Still to come, though, was this fleet-fingered, skinny young Louisiana cat - Buddy Guy, who came first. As the climax to his blistering solo, Guy tossed his guitar in the air, then caught it by the neck one handed. As it slid through his fingers, Buddy created this high levee moan. Crowd gone wild. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
That chance meeting set in motion more than a relationship. This early, and profound, respect translated into a partnership that somehow superceded Wells' early work with one of the most important people in the blues. Wells and Guy would produce some of the most unabashed and deeply cool West Side blues recordings.
This album recorded for the French Isabel label, in 1979 is a companion piece to Guy's "Blues Giant" recording of the same year. There's the gentle blues shuffle of "It Hurts Me Too", made famous by Elmore James. There's the electric-blues muscle of the title tune. Finally, as a bonus track, there's the funky, clearly James Brown-influenced "I Smell Something". This is a fine recording - and certainly one of Junior's best little-known releases.
- Buddy Guy (guitar, vocals)
- Phil Guy (guitar)
- J. Williams (bass)
- Ray Allison (drums)
Recording: October 1979 at Condorcet Studio, Toulouse (France), by Francois Porterie
Production: Didier Tricard
About Pure Pleasure
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records.
During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s - or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle.
We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production.
To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.1. Pleading The Blues
2. It Hurts Me Too
3. Cut Out The Lights
4. Just For My Baby
5. Quit Teasing My Baby
6. I'll Take Care Of You
7. Take Your Time Baby$34.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl - Sealed Buy Now
Never Say Die!Never Say Die! is the eighth studio album by British heavy metal band Black Sabbath, released in September 1978. It was the final Black Sabbath studio album to feature vocalist Ozzy Osbourne prior to his departure from the band in 1979.
At the time of the recording of Never Say Die! the members of Black Sabbath were all heavily involved in drug and alcohol abuse. Prior to the recording of the album, vocalist Osbourne quit the band and was briefly replaced by former Savoy Brown and Fleetwood Mac vocalist Dave Walker. Some songs were written with Walker, and the new group even performed an early version of Junior's Eyes with different lyrics on the BBC programme, Look Hear. Osbourne eventually rejoined the band, refusing to sing any of the songs written with Walker. These particular songs were rewritten, including Junior's Eyes, rewritten to be about the then-recent death of Osbourne's father.
We had a few internal problems, Osbourne admitted to Sounds. My father was dying, so that put us out for over three months with the funeral and everything. I left the band for three months before we got back together to record it.
The album was recorded at Sounds Interchange Studios in Toronto. We went to Toronto to record it, and that's when the problems started said Tony Iommi. Why Toronto? Because of the tax, really. The studio was booked through brochures because people thought it might be a good one. We got there and it had a dead sound - totally wrong. We couldn't get a real live sound. So what we had to do was rip the carpet up and try to make it as live as we could. They were okay about it, but it took time to get it exactly right. There were no other studios available. Closing track Swinging The Chain features lead vocals from drummer Bill Ward, necessitated by Osbourne's frequent absences from the studio and inability to perform due to substance abuse.
It's a combination of what we've all been through in the last ten years, said Osbourne. It's a very varied album. Like, we started out playing in blues clubs, because British blues - like John Mayall and early Fleetwood Mac - was the thing at the time. We were into a twelve-bar trip and early Ten Years After-style stuff. So it's part of that sort of trip. Then there's the heavy thing and the rock thing. It's not just steamhammer headbanging stuff all the way through We got rid of all our inner frustrations: what each of us individually wanted to put down over the years but couldn't because of the pressures of work. So we put a lot of painstaking hours into developing this album.1. Never Say Die
2. Johnny Blade
3. Junior's Eyes
4. A Hard Road
5. Shock Wave
6. Air Dance
7. Over To You
9. Swinging The Chain$17.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Pushing My LuckRobert Belfour's sophomore effort for Fat Possum -- at 63, he is one of the youngest artists on the roster and is by far the most polished, if the Delta blues can ever really be called that -- proves his debut was indeed only a beginning.
In stark contrast to his labelmates, Belfour strictly plays acoustic blues, but he plays them with the same dark, trancelike feel of Junior Kimbrough, haunting spookiness of Fred McDowell, rhythmic intensity of John Lee Hooker, and sprawling drawl of Lightnin' Hopkins. Ted Gainey aids Belfour on a drum kit.
While the first album was all of a piece, and everything but the vocal seemed to be recorded at the same level (and even then, Belfour couldn't always be understood among the ringing guitars and shuffling drums), Pushin' My Luck is nervier, a bit more edgy. Belfour's truly nearly unbelievable singing is a bit more in the foreground, enough to add to the hypnotic repetition in his music, while the drums -- played no more elaborately than Meg White's in the White Stripes -- are mixed just a tad higher, bringing it extremely close to the punch this stuff has when played in front of a live audience.
Fans of Kimbrough's guitar playing -- or Ali Farka Toure's, for that matter -- will be instantly drawn to the polyrhythmic, droning chords and ambling, elegantly raw, slippery fills that Belfour plays, whether it's on Hill Stomp, the title track, I Got My Eyes on You, Sweet Brown Sugar, or I'm Gonna Leave, which closes the set. The vibe is the same everywhere; this is deep, hot Mississippi blues full of a slow, steamy, writhing sexual vibe; twisted soul; and a sense of foreboding mystery that cannot be mentioned, let alone explained.
This is the first great blues record of 2003 and if it isn't nominated for the W.C. Handy Award, the damned foundation should be disbanded on the basis of deafness. I hope this guy lives to be a 100 and makes a record every year he's on this planet. Forget everything you just read: This record is amazing; just buy it.
- Thom Jurek (All Music Guide)1. Hill Stomp
2. Breaking My Heart
3. Pushin' My Luck
4. Go Ahead On
5. You Got Me Crying
6. I Got My Eyes On You
7. Sweet Brown Sugar
8. Stayed Awake
9. Crazy Ways
10. I'm Gonna Leave You
$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
The PassageMuch had changed in the Iron Man camp during the short year separating their sophomore album, 1994's The Passage, from its rightfully acclaimed predecessor, Black Knight. On the personnel front, drummer Ron Kalimon had been replaced by Gary Isom (later of Unorthodox, Spirit Caravan, and Pentagram) and first album vocalist Rob Levey deposed (on the Hellhound label's insistence!) for the technically more accomplished Dan Michalak, but the latter's histrionic vibrato (think a junior Messiah Marcolin) could come off a little comically forced at times, ironically making him an acquired taste, just like his precursor. At least on the musical front, however, the band's guitarist and creative mastermind Alfred Morris III could still be counted upon to guide Iron Man (rounded out by returning bass player Larry Brown) down the (mostly) straight and narrow doom path without commercial dilution or unnecessary distractions. Resulting highlights included the LP's emphatic opener The Fury (an homage to Black Sabbath's Neon Knights in more ways than one), the short, sweet, and savage Iron Warrior, and the memorable instrumental Tony Stark (which of course borrows the alias for that iron-plated Marvel Comics superhero; get it?). Meanwhile, the discreet synthesizers fleshing out Waiting for Tomorrow's intro showed that Iron Man weren't entirely averse to modernization, either, but they sure as hell weren't leaping to embrace it. Also, The Passage put a little more emphasis on slower doom numbers -- see Unjust Reform, Harvest of Earth, and the rather toothless Time of Indecision -- which, while more authentically traditional in nature, didn't pack nearly as much of a punch as the band's speedier efforts. Nevertheless, The Passage helped establish Iron Man's mighty reputation far and wide to doom-loving hordes across the globe, and it was indeed a shame that the group would wait half-a-decade before capitalizing on this with a third album, 1999's Generation Void.
- Eduardo Rivadavia (All Music Guide)1. The Fury
2. Unjust Reform
3. The Gargoyle
4. Harvest of Earth
5. The Passage
6. Iron Warrior
7. Freedom Fighters
8. Waiting for Tomorrow
9. Time of Indecision
10. Tony Stark
11. End of the World$23.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now